Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Journalism

First Advisor

Kristen A. Swain

Second Advisor

Joseph B. Atkins

Third Advisor

Brad Schultz

Relational Format



The digital divide among senior citizens 65 and older has prompted a significant number of studies, surveys, and interviews of the barriers and benefits of Internet users and non-users. This project surveyed 39 participants through focus groups, in-depth interviews, and radio shows in Holly Springs, Mississippi, a predominantly African-American retirement community 30 miles southeast of Memphis, Tennessee. This study validates the difficulties senior citizens face when learning how to access the Internet. Cognitive issues revealed that senior citizens could not understand basic computer terminology or remember verbal or written commands during training classes. This project has shothat senior citizens must be given more time to learn basic computer skills before learning the Internet. Training can overcome barriers if senior citizens are trained properly on Internet usage.


Track: Academic



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